As the LA Clippers begin the post-Blake Griffin era, the Blazers opened up a 22-point lead in the second half... only to see the Clippers cut it to six late. But, the Blazers get the victory 104-96. Damian Lillard scored 28 points and 7 assists, and Jusuf Nurkic tallied 14 points and 20 rebounds. The Clippers were led by Lou Williams with 20 points.
A few essentials from tonight’s game:
Now, if one would just develop a three-point shot.
DeAndre Jordan is the last of the “Big Three” for the LA Clippers and there was a lot of interest in this game in comparing Jordan to Nurkic as the trade deadline looms. I’m not sure if either player was more convincing tonight until the fourth quarter when Nurkic emerged to make some key plays. Jordan’s offense continues to be limited while Nurkic plays a maddening finesse game. Both tallied double-digits rebounds with Nurkic finishing with a double-double in points (14) and rebounds (20).
Predictable Post-Trade Effort from the Clips.
The Clippers played like a typical, NBA team that finds itself in flux and shorthanded. Like any good professional team, however, they put their best foot forward and played with purpose and scrap until the end. By the second half, the Clips’ shortage of players and talent began to show. With the Blazers at full strength and playing some of the best basketball of the season, and with LA’s Lou Williams struggling mightily, this game was over when the Blazers’ lead ballooned to 22 in the third quarter. Though, Portland still managed to make it interesting in the fourth quarter out of habit.
A Balanced Attack.
Damian Lillard did his thing as usual and CJ McCollum struggled to reach 16 points, but the Blazers got quality production from just about everyone who came onto the court. Nurkic helped seal the deal late. Ed Davis was everywhere as usual. Evan Turner filled up the stat sheet and got the key hustle play in the fourth. Al-Farouq Aminu had a double-double. Zach Collins put in some strong minutes and Shabazz Napier added to his 2018 highlight reel. Albeit against a Clippers team that will look different in a few days, this was a nice confidence boost for much of the Blazers team. Except for Pat Connaughton, he can forget this one.
No. 6 puts it through the 5 hole pic.twitter.com/fVkR7vDiFe— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 31, 2018
The Blazers make a quick turnaround back home to play the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night. Tip off is at 7PM. Keep it here for a full analysis of this game and more.